4th Council of Europe Platform Exchange on Culture and Digitisation
Poster of the 4th Council of Europe Platform Exchange on Culture and Digitisation
Empowering Democracy through Culture – Digital Tools for Culturally Competent Citizens
Fri, October 20, 2017

The Council of Europe's series of conferences dealing with the impact of digitization on culture will be continued this year in Karlsruhe as a cooperation event with the ZKM. In the years 2014–2016 the CoE’s »platform exchange« took place in Baku, Linz and Tallinn.

The aim of this year's conference in Karlsruhe will be to focus on the potential of art and science, which has so far been under-utilized, as an effective means of strengthening democracy. The tools of digital culture will be discussed. Actors and decision-makers from different disciplines, institutions and citizens' initiatives will work on two main topics in the 1-day conference. First of all, the use of appropriate digital tools will be explored to enable citizens to actively participate in strong European democracies – i. e. to promote digital literacy and to train resistance forces against current phenomena threatening democracy, such as populism, fake news and xenophobia. Next, the focus is on networks in culture, the arts and the sciences, which are also actively working against these anti-democratic tendencies.

Digitization undoubtedly expands public space and creates new opportunities for participation, but also raises questions about intended and unwanted effects and their control. While populism strives to reduce the diversity of voices and thus dissolves democracy, it is the principle of the arts and sciences to cultivate diversity, complexity and productive competition. The ethos of democracy is based not least on this. In this sense, digitization has an innovative function because it provides access to the heterogeneous messages produced by cultural and artistic means.

The opening ceremony of the ZKM exhibition project »Open Codes. Living in Digital Worlds«, conceived by Peter Weibel, on Thursday, October 19, 2017 will provide a special artistic prelude to the conference on Friday, October 20, 2017. This exhibition project will present the museum as an exciting and vibrant place of learning, inviting everyone to share and get to learn about the idea and values of a strong democratic community of digitally competent citizens.

The conference will be run in English. An invitation from the Council of Europe is required for participation on site. If you are interested in participating at the platform exchange in Karlsruhe, we would kindly ask you to send an email to platformexchange2017@zkm.de and provide some information about yourself (your profession, your organization) together with a short explanation why attending this event is of importance to you.

We would like to invite everyone to follow the conference via ZKM Livestream and participate in the discussion via Twitter and YouTube.

For any questions about this event, please contact: platformexchange2017@zkm.de



Thursday, October 19, 2017

7 pmWelcome speech by Peter Weibel, Chairman and CEO, ZKM
7:45 pmExhibition opening »Open Codes. Living in Digital Worlds«
8:30 pmWelcome reception at ZKM_music balcony
Friday, October 20, 2017 
9:30 amRegistration of participants and welcome coffee

10 am



Opening address:

  • Chairman and CEO, ZKM, Peter Weibel
  • Head of the Culture, Nature and Heritage Department
    of the Council of Europe, Eladio Fernandez-Galiano
  • Chair of the Steering Committee for Culture, Heritage and
    Landscape, Kimmo Aulake
10:30 am

Session 1
Keynote speaker: Peter Sloterdijk

11 amDiscussion of keynote with participants

11:15 am



Panel 1
Different cultural digital tools used to fight populism,
fake news, xenophobia and ideological political movements

1 pmBuffet-Lunch at conference site
2 pm

Session 2
Keynote speaker: Hito Steyerl

2:30 pm Discussion of keynote with participants
2:45 pm

Panel 2
The power of European cultural, arts and scientific networks vis-à-vis
undemocratic political or ideological movements

4:30 pmCoffee break 

5 pm 





Concluding discussion and outlook on next steps
with Kimmo Aulake, Hannes Grassegger, Anett Holzheid, Kathrin Merkle, Nathalie Thèberge and Peter Weibel

Organization / Institution
Council of Europe, Strasbourg, ZKM | Karlsruhe

Accompanying program